Europe’s blue ribbon nuclear research project at the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is back up and running and has already begun circulating particle beams in both directions.Scientists say they have already progressed beyond the stage last year when, after only nine days in operation, an accident partially destroyed a 300- metre stretch of the 27 kilometre-long tunnel. It has already cost nearly 10 billion euros and loops under the Swiss-French border. “The magnetic properties of the machine are good, the aperture is clear, there is nothing sticking into the beam pipe, anywhere, so it’s a very very encouraging sign and a remarkable progress,” says head of group operation Mike Lammont. High-energy collisions are due to begin in January, and it is only then that the LHC may begin to yield the secrets of the creation of the universe scientists are hoping for. The research team says the last 14 months of inactivity have been anything but, and that they now understand their machine much better. Critics say the LHC is dangerous as it may create millions of tiny black holes that could destroy Earth, a claim rubbished by the CERN team.